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All comments by Steve Zolotow
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I think the length of the suspension is a secondary consideration. More important is to make it clear that the punishment will consist of anything they accomplished as a pair, even if they were part of a team, being deleted, and those finishing behind them being moved up a notch. Hopefully this would remove much of the incentive a pair might have to add cheating to their playbook. It would also make sponsors think twice about hiring a suspect pair.
July 31, 2015
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If cheating is proven (whatever that means) the guilty pair should be stripped of any honors (master points or trophies) from the first time they played together. This should also apply to any team on which the pair played. This would discourage pairs from become cheats as they progress, and would discourage sponsors from hiring potential cheats.
July 31, 2015
Steve Zolotow edited this comment July 31, 2015
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Perhaps one of the reasons players like to play on a 5 or 6 man team is the scheduling freedom that allows. Someone who want to sleep late can miss the first quarter. Someone who wants a big dinner with wine can play the first half.
July 31, 2015
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This long post may wander so feel free to skip it.
It is unclear what is or should be the hierarchy of goals for the ACBL as an organization. I think these should be some of its goals in order:
1. Do what is best for the members.
2. Do what is best for American bridge.
3. Do what is best for bridge.
4. Do what is best for the organization
5. Do what is best for those in power with the organization.

Within each of these categories, there are a number of choices. Which takes priority getting more members or raising the skills of existing members? Catering to developing young players or providing comforts for older players? It easy to create lists of choices, which are necessarily mutually exclusive, but which do all take time, effort and resources.

I am relatively sure that if we wish to maintain US bridge, we have to expand the pool of young players and make the game attractive to them. If we wish to expand the expert community, we have to make it possible for a professional player to earn a reasonable amount of money playing bridge. They say a rising tide floats all boats. If more people are attracted to bridge, be it on-line, locally, regionally, nationally or internationally, it is good for bridge. If people love the game, whether for fun, masterpoints or money, it is good for bridge.

I can certainly appreciate the fact that someone struggling to raise enough money to get to a few regionals a year, would resent subsiding a rich sponsor’s team to play an international championship in China. As someone who has no interest in masterpoints, but enjoys competition, I resent the fact that the ACBL’s marketing of masterpoints has, perhaps unintentionally or perhaps because it makes no profit from them, eliminated most of the thriving money (rubber) bridge games/clubs that used to exist in every major city.

I know what I’d like from the ACBL, but I’m sure it is a lot different than what most people want. Until it clarifies its goals, and how it wishes to allocate funds to achieving them, it will never be clear whether any policy is effective.
July 31, 2015
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Has the ACBL BOD ever created a questionnaire for members? It would be interesting to see what their preferences would be in terms of how funds are allocated, starting times, venues, master point awards, etc.
July 29, 2015
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Bridge politics are like most politics. As the saying goes, “99% of politicians give the rest a bad name!” It puzzles me why normally rational people expect politicians to be anything but self-serving. They are interested in money and power, not in creating a better way of life for more people. How many people run for congress hoping to make this a better country, and not to benefit themselves. To expect anything different from the ACBL BOD is very naive.
July 29, 2015
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Those wishing to learn the game now have the opportunity to watch the world's greatest players playing in real time in competitive situations with expert commentary. This provides an incredible learning experience, especially for younger players. When I became interested in learning bridge in 1955 or so, the best I could get was my father playing against our neighbors and the NY Times bridge column. (Both chess and poker now provide similar opportunities for observation as well.) Thus young people are becoming more expert at earlier ages.
March 19, 2015
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Might be useful to know their methods after pass, my choice. I'm hoping they bid 2s & play there instead of finding a spot in clubs or nt
Jan. 14, 2015
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My first instinct was to bid 3H, understating diamond length, but in these days of ambiguous 4th suit bids, it might not even show heart strength
Jan. 14, 2015
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I seem to remember that James Kauder (author of the Bridge Philosopher Series) was her son, so he should be able to provide definitive information.
Oct. 18, 2014
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At least superficially it seems safe to win the heart, yes Kh should imply desire to force declarer & Ah for ruff, but in any case doesn't a low trump return work and avoid forcing pard to draw the appropriate inferences?
Aug. 25, 2014
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The key thing is for everyone to have a great time and to come home loving bridge and wanting to spread the game. I've always felt that young women could do a lot more to popularize the game among young people than any of us old guys can.
I'd also like to see more events that bring players from different countries together. Some sort of trans-national youth teams for those KO'd early on with the provision that each pair must contain players from different countries.
Aug. 20, 2014
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I'd like to see a box on the entry form that states we will accept the director's ruling. When 2 pairs (or teams) with this box checked encounter each other, the director's ruling is final. If either hasn't checked the box, then the old procedure (AC)would be invoked. This would eliminate some appeals, perhaps even most if a lot players signed on.
Aug. 1, 2014
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What should a (relatively) new partnership do? Constantly respond, we don't have an understanding or agreement? Try to be helpful & intuit(based on similar situations) what partner's bid meant? Assume partner is using some sort of expert standard & explain as such? Can and/or should there be different standards for partnerships with copious notes & lots of experience?
July 31, 2014
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Is report of 7S play correct? When I was watching on BBO, one declarer appeared to take a nullo line of play. He took 2 trumps, then AKc discarding diamonds, then ran some winners. If it was played as reported even the QJh doubleton wouldn't help since other defender would know to keep the suit.
July 29, 2014
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My bad. Thought they had at least one natural pair.
May 18, 2014
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Advice for Final Day: Both Nickell & Diamond have one top pair who plays precision (Meckwell and Hamecko?) Each segment one team will have a choice of seats. If your team is ahead put your precision pair in the same direction as theirs. This should help minimize system swings. If you are behind, do the reverse, and hope to gain on system swings.
May 18, 2014
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A few additional comments: First, I think the idea of the trials is to select the best US team for world competition. For this reason, a totally level playing field may not be ideal. The US wants to favor its best teams, and does so by making their route to victory even easier. For many years teams were selected on a pair by pair basis. I remember reading articles that spoke with horror of the idea of a ‘sponsor’ representing the US in international play. Now it is common, and probably allows a number of pros to survive and focus on bridge to a much greater extent than they could otherwise.
It is interesting that in chess and boxing the reigning champion gets ‘a bye’ to the finals. Football and basketball have different formats at pro & college level, all teams generally start season even, and usually play same number of regular season events. When wildcard teams exist, they have worse regular season records & have one extra game to play. As in many sports, promoters want best teams to meet as late in playoffs as possible.
May 17, 2014
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It would be a better test of seating if all teams played the same number of matches (tennis, chess, football). The combination of stamina & more chances to get unlucky against a worse team make advancing tougher. Isn't it a big enough advantage that the theoretical best teams avoid playing each other until deep in the tournament. Giving them a bye or byes as well is grossly stacks the deck in their favor.
May 16, 2014
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If we can 2 matches, we should be able to vote for 2.
May 11, 2014
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